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CVs and application forms


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Session 2A from City University London's Researchers' Development Day, held on Friday 4th May 2012.

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CVs and application forms

  1. 1. Writing an effective CV Researchers Development Day Jennifer StevenCareer and Skills Development Service
  2. 2. Today’s session• Purpose of a CV• The basic rules• Academic CVs – specifics• Non academic CVs – specifics• Covering letters• Questions
  3. 3. Purpose of a CV – to get you an interview• Must be targeted at the job and employer • One CV won‟t work for every job!• Must reflect the skills and experiences demanded • Always use the job description• Must create a positive first impression • Appearances really do matter• Must make the selectors job easy • Tell them clearly you have what they‟re looking for
  4. 4. What should you include?• Personal details• Education• Work experience (inc. teaching)• Publications/Conferences• Skills / Additional information• Interests and Activities• Referees• Account for any gaps (children/illness/personal reasons)• ….Other possibilities
  5. 5. Personal Details• Name• Address (term and home?)• Telephone/mobile/e-mail• Nationality?• Date of birth?• …….and what else can be left out?
  6. 6. The basic rules....Personal Details Keep it quick and easy... Jennifer Steven 22B Kensington High Street, London, SW1 6RTM: 07743 757 777 E: Not long and unnecessary...Name: Jennifer StevenAddress: 22B Kensington High Street, LondonTelephone: 07743 757 777Email: jsteven@mail.comDate of birth: 21.04.1981Marital status: singleDriving license: fullNationality: British
  7. 7. Education• Reverse chronological order• Higher education• Secondary education?• Institution/dates attended• Academic awards/prizes/scholarships• How much detail? • Depends on what you‟re applying for
  8. 8. Describing your degrees• Subject details/marks?• Teaching and learning methods• Knowledge/Skills• Research methods/training?
  9. 9. The basic rules....Education
  10. 10. Work History• Employer/location/job title/dates• Chronological?• Relevant and additional?• Vacation/part-time/voluntary• Responsibilities/skills gained• “Active” language• Phrases/bullet points
  11. 11. Specific skills/additional information• Awards/achievements• Short courses of relevance• IT skills• Foreign languages• Membership of professional organisations• Driving licence• Interests
  12. 12. Referees• Usually 2 required (possibly 3 for academic posts)• Name/address/ tel no./e-mail• Indicate relationship/status• Brief them well• Possible to say “available on request”
  13. 13. Other options?Career objectivePersonal ProfileSkills Profile
  14. 14. Skills profile....
  15. 15. Appearances count• Choose a layout to fit the information NOT the information to fit the layout – choose own headings• Different types of CV • chronological (conventional) • Skills based • Technical (incl. academic) • International
  16. 16. Appearances count....• Maximum 2 sides A4 for non academic• Reverse chronological order• Layout • avoid large chunks of unbroken text • use bullet points or line spaces to break it up • white space can be as important as text • bold and LARGE characters are clearer than underlining• Balance • allocate space according to relevance • fill the prime selling space with your best material• No spelling or grammatical mistakes
  17. 17. Academic CV - specifics• Length – can be longer and can include an appendix• Description of research, publications/conferences should be the focus• Funding/awards• Teaching experience• Covering letter/personal statement may also be slightly longer
  18. 18. Research and Teaching experience - details• Research experience • Details of doctoral and masters research (if only thesis title, supervisor and funding details under education) • Research assistant positions • Research training • Success gaining funding (if appropriate)• Teaching experience • Mention lectures, seminars, tutorial groups, one to one • Course design, marketing and marking and assessment • Mention course titles and level
  19. 19. Publications and Administrative experience - details• Publications/Communications • Can be an appendix if extensive • Mention papers presented at conferences, peer-reviewed publications, non-refereed publications, departmental seminars etc • Can mention publications submitted/in preparation• Administrative experience? • Planning and organising seminars/conferences • Course organisation and marking
  20. 20. Non academic CV - specifics• Length – 2 pages max• May not need to include full details of publications/conferences etc• Use this style if searching for part time work around your PhD too.• Focus on the qualities gained from conducting research: • Project management, information management and analysis, presentation skills etc • Consider a skills based CV if you are tackling a completely new industry/role
  21. 21. Covering letters• 1 side A4, typed unless asked otherwise• Consider using a heading• Refer to CV but don‟t repeat• Written to a named person • Say what you are applying for/ where you saw the advert • Mention what you are doing now • Explain why you are interested in this job with this organisation • Indicate what you have to offer – skills, experience, qualities. • What you hope to gain from job and how it fits with your career plans • Positive conclusion
  22. 22. Differences if using Application Forms -Competency/Skill based questions• Aim to elicit evidence of a certain skill• Are based on the theory that past behaviour predicts future performance• From your research you can predict the skills they will ask about• Prepare examples from a range of different experiences• For example: When have you worked effectively in a team? What was your role? How did you contribute to the team‟s success?
  23. 23. Application Forms - Using theSTAR structure• Situation- summarise briefly• Task- what needed to be done• Action- what you did• Result- outcome, preferably positive
  24. 24. Application forms – Open questions/Personal Statement• „Please provide information in • Suggested Structure support of your application and • Why you are interested in this job brief details of relevant with this organisation experience, including your present duties’ • Key skills, qualities and experience (work and course) with• ‘Please write a supporting examples statement with particular reference to the headings in the • Any relevant technical skills person specification.’ (IT/Languages) • Summary and reinforce your enthusiasm for the job
  25. 25. Further support and preparation• for researcher specific career development information and example academic/non academic CVs• Websites such as, have example CVs available• Professional Association Websites• Talk with a Careers Consultant• Talk with Recruiters at employer events & Careers Fairs• Handouts on Career and skills development website
  26. 26. Questions?